Cognitive-behavioral therapy

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As a matter of fact, in most instances, the focus of attention remains on observable behavior and it is regarded that the inner thoughts are not, indeed, part of the causal factors, therefore, the emphasis is laid on the relationship between observable behaviors and observable reinforcing conditions by us. If the importance of thoughts, perceptions, evaluations, and self-statements, or interpreting responses that occur due in course to the “hidden self”, reappraised, in that situation, we would be able to find that these processes mediate the effects of objective stimulus conditions, and, thus, help determine behavior. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, it is proposed that thoughts be regarded as emitted internal events comparable to emitted external behaviors, and that a technology be developed for modifying thoughts by use of same principles of learning that were proving so effective in changing outer behavior. In fact, cognitive processes influence  both motivation and behavior, and it is the use of behavior-change techniques in a pragmatic ( hypothesis-testing) manner, that matters.   
1.Rational-emotive therapy [RET].       It has become one of the most widely used therapeutic approaches put forward by Ellis. Ellis considers the well-functioning individual as one who is behaving rationally in tune with empirical reality. Unfortunately, many of us have learned unrealistic beliefs and perfectionistic values that cause us to expect too much of ourselves, leading us to behave irrationally and then to feel unnecessarily that we are worthless  failures. The unrealistic assumptions and self-demands inevitably lead to ineffective and self-defeating behavior and then to the emotional response of self-devaluation. The emotional response of self-devaluation  is, thus, the consequence not of real-life events but of an individual’s faulty expectations, interpretations, and self-demands. Ellis believes that one or more of the core irrational beliefs, such as, certain acts are awful ot wicked; human misery is produced by external causes or outside persons , or events  rather than by the view that one takes of these conditions; it is better to avoid life problems if possible than to face them; and because something once affected one’s life, it will indefinitely affect it, are at the root of most psychological maladjustment. Irrationality may also involve faulty thought processes reflecting a “closed-mindedness” that is resistant to change. The belief system and self-evaluation, especially, with respect to the irrational tasks that you believe you ought, or must accomplish be restructured, as these are preventing a more positive sense of self-worth and a creative, emotionally satisfying, and fulfilling life. Several methods are used. One way is to dispute yours false beliefs through rational confrontation. Sometimes, homework assignments help break negative chains of behavior and have new experiences. An external reinforcement if given to you on achieving  something produces good results. Another method of self-reinforcement might be through covert statements, such as, “you are doing a, really, good job”. Rational-emotive therapy aims at increasing the individual’s feelings of self-worth and clearing the way for self-actualization by removing the false beliefs that have been stumbling blocks to personal growth.

2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression.                                       Beck’s cognitive-behavioral therapy was developed for the treatment of depression. According to Beck, “Problems like depression result from individual’s illogical thinking about themselves, the world they live in, and the future”. These illogical ideas are maintained even in the face of contradictory evidence because the individuals typically engage in self-defeating and self-fulfilling behaviors, in which, we selectively perceive the world as harmful while ignoring evidence to the contrary; overgeneralize on the basis of limited knowledge – for instance, seeing ourselves as totally worthless in the lime-light of failures; magnify the significance of undesirable events –  for example, seeing the job loss as the end of the world for us; engage in absolutistic, “all or none” thinking – for instance, exaggerating the importance of someone’s causal comment and perceiving it as final proof of our worthlessness. It is better to gather information about yourself through unbiased experiments that allow you to disconfirm your false beliefs. Identify your assumptions, beliefs, and expectations and formulate these into hypotheses to be tested. Search the means and ways, in which, you can check out these hypotheses in the world. An important part of the arrangement for daily activities is the scheduling of pleasurable events becauae many depressed individuals have lost the capacity for gaining pleasure from their own activities. You may plan behavioral assignments; discover underlying assumptions and ” automatic thoughts or responses” that may be leading to self-defeating tendencies. In this way, you are capable to self-monitor your thought content and keep challenging its validity.

3. Stress-inoculation therapy.             Stress inoculation therapy-a type of self- instructional training focused on altering self-statements that the individual is routinely making in order to restructure one’s characteristic approach to stress-producing situations. In its initial phase, cognitive preparation, is that explore your beliefs and attitudes about the problem situation and the self-statements. The focus is on how your self-talk can influence later performance and behavior. The new self-statements that would be more adaptive are prepared. Then, the second phase of the stress-inoculation, skill acqisition and rehearsal, is begun. If an individual undergoing stress-inoculation therapy for coping with the “feeling of being overwhelmed ” would rehearse self-statements,such as,    “When fear comes, just pause. Keep the focus on the present; what is it you have to do ? Label your fear from 0 to 10 and watch it change. You should expect your fear to rise. It will be over shortly.” The third phase of stress- inoculation therapy, application and practice , involves applying the new coping strategies in actual situations from easier situations to more stressful life situations.

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